BACI Launch of 2018 Lenten Study on the ‘Five Marks of Mission’

BACI_2018_launch_committeePhilip McKinley, Barbara Bergin, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, Archbishop Michael Jackson, Archbishop Richard Clarke, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley, and Canon Paul Houston at the launch of BACI’s 2018 Lenten Study.

Note: Following are excerpts from a press release from the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough at the launch of the BACI 2018 Lenten Study. See the post following the present post for detailed information on the study and additional information on where to obtain copies.

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Lynn Glanville, Diocesan Communications Officer, reports:

The 2018 BACI Lenten Study — As the Father Sent Me, So I Send You — was launched in Church House, Dublin, yesterday (Tuesday January 23) by Archbishop Michael Jackson. The Archbishop has put the ‘Five Marks of Mission’ at the centre of the United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough’s discipleship programme, Come&C.

The Five Marks of Mission were formulated in the Anglican Communion in 1984 and have been emphasised in the Church of Ireland in recent years. This year’s BACI Lenten Study focuses on the important aspects of Christian mission, moving from the teaching and pastoral care required after initial conversion to the wider societal challenges of the Gospel.

The writers contributing the study’s five chapters addressing each mark of mission are the Revd Jack Kinkead, the Revd Lesley Robinson, Mr Philip McKinley, Canon Paul Houston and Mr David Ritchie of the RCB. The Archbishop thanked the study’s editor, Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley, for the way the work is presented and commended BACI’s accomplishments in bringing the Bible to the centre of life in the Church of Ireland.

Archbishop Jackson said that the invitation to “go and make disciples” is not just an invitation to go and recruit members. “It is about affirming people who are already doing good and interesting and Godly things.”

He drew out several nuggets contained in the Bible studies. Under the heading of the ‘Tell’ chapter of the study, he said one of the important questions raised is how the Church of Ireland would cope with a plentiful harvest, a question he suggested that is not often asked. The ‘Teach’ chapter highlights the importance of both instruction and modelling and looks at the holistic aspect of teaching.

The ‘Tend’ chapter looks at the wider responsibility and individual commitment that need to come together and the concept of praying for, and contributing to, the flourishing of the city we are in. The study looks at pilgrims, refugees and migrants but also people who are moving through a consumer society. The chapter also examines tending the self.

The ‘Transform’ chapter makes a plea for Christian engagement in politics. The Archbishop said that Christians are encouraged not to sidestep the political world and also to invited to seek ways of being in solidarity with others.

Archbishop Jackson discussed how the ‘Treasure’ chapter looks at the connection between theology and ecology. “It is very important for us in the Church of Ireland to have this articulated by the Chief Officer,” he stated, citing the chilling phrase used by Mr Ritchie that we are “chipping away at the goodness of the Earth”. He said the study highlights our theological responsibility, but also the need for a reversal of expectations whereby we walk or cycle where we would formerly have driven.

“Each of these studies draws in reflection, Scripture, commentary and prayer so as to comprehensively engage with the Five Marks of Mission…. The Marks of Mission are not exclusive of each other. In doing one you might actually be doing two or three. Mission is exciting. It is also an intrinsic part of our relationship with our neighbour,” he concluded.

Chairman of BACI, the Revd Dr William Olhausen, also thanked Canon Kennerley and all the BACI committee and contributors for their work on the study chapters. He said that each year BACI aims to engage the Church with more relevant studies and get more people involved. He said that the studies alert people to the broad canvas of what mission is and added that there is something for everyone in them.

Copies of BACI’s Lent 2018 studies are available at £2.25 or €2.50 each and are obtainable from the larger cathedral bookshops or by post from the Book Well in Belfast or the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland treasurer, Barbara Bergin in Dublin

The full press release may be found online at: BACI Press Release. Contact for Lynn Glanville is


2018 Lenten Study Available – ‘Readings to Support the Five Marks of Mission’

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The Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland (BACI) launches their highly engaging 2018 Lenten Study on the 23rd of January. The study, entitled, As the Father Sent Me, so I Send You – Readings to Support the 5 Marks of Mission, is a resource for churches to examine the subject of the Anglican Communion’s ‘Five Marks of Mission’ in the context of biblical readings.

Biblical Foundation. Christ sends his followers, his disciples, into all the world to share his love and his teaching (Matt 28:19-20), and to make new disciples whom he will send in their turn. We are to go in God’s peace, and we will succeed only through God’s gift of the Holy Spirit.  We are to ‘stay in the city’ until we ‘are clothed with power from on high’ (Luke 24:49).

Animated by the Holy Spirit. As Canon Ginnie Kennerley states in the Study Introduction, we must be grounded in this understanding of Christian mission before we seek to respond to the call for mission itself. Mission is — literally — being sent out, not by any human authority, but by the Lord himself.  We are to go in his peace, and we are not to go until animated by the Holy Spirit. If for his ministry Jesus himself needed the outpouring of the Spirit at his baptism, how could his disciples possibly dispense with such an anointing?

Five Marks of Mission as Road-Map. To enter into mission, we need to be disciples ourselves, and ‘to be aware at least that we are striving and seeking God’s help to be true disciples, following Jesus as he has revealed himself to us and seeking always to be faithful.  Only then can we dare share the Good News of the Kingdom, whether we are sent out across the world or to the house next door.’ Human beings need a structure or plan for mission.  The Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission offer us this kind of road-map as we contemplate Jesus’ call to ‘make disciples’ for him. The Five Marks of Mission are Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform, and Treasure, each examined in the study in separate chapters structured to be used as individual group study sessions which include prayer, an introduction to the material, a relevant Scripture reading, and study questions to stimulate discussion.

Study Launch. Archbishop Michael Jackson will launch the 2018 Study on the 23rd of January at Church House, Dublin, at 1.15pm. Copies will be available at the launch at a ten percent discount for ten copies. The retail price is £2.25 or €2.50, obtainable from the larger cathedral bookshops, the Bookwell in Belfast, or the the BACI Treasurer, Barbara Bergin,

Copies of the Study may be downloaded below as a PDF file:



Autumn Lecture: Engaging with the Five Marks of Mission (AGM to follow)

We are happy to announce the subject of BACI’s Autumn Lecture: The Church in the World: Engaging with the Five Marks of Mission.


The Five Marks of Mission that have traditionally been identified by the Anglican Communion are being presented by the following:

  1. TELL – Revd Jack Kincaid: To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  2. TEACH – Revd Lesley Robinson: To teach, baptise and nurture new believers;
  3. TEND – Mr Philip McKinley: To respond to human need by loving service;
  4. TRANSFORM – Revd Canon Paul Houston: To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation;
  5. TREASURE – Mr. David Ritchie: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

DATE/TIME: The event will take place on Wednesday, 13 September, 2017 at 7.30pm.

AGM: The BACI AGM will follow at approximately 8.45pm.

LOCATION: Parish Centre at Castleknock (Parishes of Castleknock and Mulhuddart with Clonsilla), 7.30 for 7.45 p.m. A map of the Castleknock area indicating the Parish Centre is HERE.

ADMISSION: Free to paid-up members of BACI. Admission charge for non-members: €5.

LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: We look forward to the further contribution of each of our presenters in the preparation of chapters for the 2018 Lenten Study, available in January.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Mrs. Barbara Bergin, BACI Treasurer, or telephone 01-2888877.


Johannine ‘Gardener’ Theme Explored at 2017 Spring Lecture

In BACI’s 2017 Spring Lecture in Rathfarnham parish church (April 27), Margaret Daly-Denton explored themes from her forthcoming book, John, an Earth Bible Commentary: Supposing Him to be the Gardener (London: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, July 2017). This volume in the Earth Bible Commentary Series suggests how John’s gospel might motivate and resource a Christian response to the ecological crisis.

Addressing the combined BACI and IBA audience, Margaret remarked on how aptly Mary Magdalene recognized the risen Jesus as ‘Gardener’ (John 20.15), completing his day’s work in the ‘garden’ of the Earth. The story of Jesus offers his present-day followers a paradigm with considerable potential to inspire Earth care, sustainable living, and commitment to eco-justice. The evangelist suggests that Jesus fulfils the Jewish hope for a restoration envisaged as a return of humankind to Eden.

Mindful of the garden theme, Margaret reads John’s gospel with sensitivity to the role of the more-than-human world in the narrative with particular attention to the scriptural underlay that repeatedly brings this world into the foreground. Beginning with an exploration of the memories and associations that the garden setting would have evoked for the intended audience, she then follows the gospel’s spiral path that eventually leads to the garden of Mary’s encounter with Jesus. The gospel challenges the reader with the question of how believers might undertake God’s work in today’s ecologically damaged world (John 6.28). Margaret’s insightful book also offers practical suggestions relating to the settings occupied by those who hear her passionate —  yet disciplined — challenge to share in the work of ‘Gardener’.



The Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland is delighted to announce that the BACI Spring Lecture 2017 will be given by Dr Margaret Daly-Denton. The title of the lecture is  ‘Supposing Him to be the Gardener (John 20:15) — Reading John’s Gospel  from an Ecological Perspective’. The lecture will draw upon her book John – An Earth Bible Commentary to be published by Bloomsbury/ T&T Clark in July 2017.


Dr Margaret Daly-Denton

VENUE: Rathfarnham Parish Church and Centre, Dublin 14.

TIME: 7.30PM

DATE: 27th April 2017

Places are limited but can be secured through the BACI treasurer, Barbara Bergin: Tel. 01-2888877.

Free entry for members – non-members €5 cover charge


Lenten Study 2017 – Official Launch by Archbishop Michael Jackson

BACI 2017 Lent Study Aims to Shine Biblical Wisdom on the Migrant Crisis

The Biblical Association of the Church of Ireland launched its 2017 Lenten Bible Study in Church House, Dublin, this afternoon (Tuesday January 24). God’s Heart for Migrants – Biblical Wisdom for a World in Turmoil has been produced by David Shepherd of TCD for BACI and comprises five Bible studies focusing on migration.

Officially launching the study, Archbishop Michael Jackson thanked BACI for taking on this important topic. The Archbishop said that the question that must be asked is, ‘Can we let the stranger become Christ to us?’ ‘Can we let poverty, alienation, homelessness and degradation, become the lens through which we can become new people in Christ and in a common humanity?’ he asked.


The Bishop of Limerick the Right Revd Kenneth Kearon, the Archbishop of Armagh the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, the Archbishop of Dublin the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, the editor of BACI’s 2017 Bible study Canon Dr Ginnie Kennerley, the Bishop of Tuam the Right Revd Patrick Rooke and chairperson of BACI the Revd Dr William Olhausen at the launch of BACI’s 2017 Lent study. (Photo: Lynn Glanville)

Archbishop Jackson said that ‘immigrancy’ runs throughout the Bible from Abraham to Revelation. He talked about the exclusion of people from ‘there’ rather than those from ‘here’ and said that immigration would remain an identity issue but asked if it need always remain a humanitarian issue. He said the encouragement of the study was to widen and deepen our humanity and to widen and deepen our scriptural understanding.

He thanked BACI for being the driving force in the Church of Ireland for letting the Bible speak to us and through us.

Speaking on behalf of BACI, the Revd Dr William Olhausen thanked the study’s editor, Canon Ginnie Kennerley for the tremendous work she put in in pursuit of excellence in the production on an excellent Bible study. He said this was BACI’s seventh Bible study and added that each year they seek to identify a topic that will challenge participants.

The five Bible Studies are designed to aid reflection on the lessons offered today by the migration experiences of the Jewish people: from Abram onto Canaan, Egypt and back, through the Exodus experience and the giving of the Law, to Ruth the Moabite and the challenges that faced her, and on again through the Babylonian exile to consider the perceived status of ‘pilgrims and sojourners here on earth’ common to Jews and Gentiles alike in the early Church.

Copies are available from Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin and further stockists may be advised by BACI Hon. Treasurer and Distribution Manager, Barbara Bergin ( The copies cost €2.50. Copies are also available to download for free from the BACI website

Post text source: Peter Cheney, Church of Ireland Assistant Press Office


2017 Lenten Study — God’s Heart for Migrants: Biblical Wisdom for a World in Turmoil

I was hungry and you gave me no food… I was a stranger and you did not welcome me… Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to the least of these, you did not do it to me’ (Matthew 25:42-45).

The 2017 Lenten study is now available onlineThe title of the study is God’s Heart for Migrants: Biblical Wisdom for a World in Turmoil, authored by Dr. David Shepherd, Assistant Professor at Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin.


The five-part study includes timely and highly engaging material examining the following areas:

  1. God’s People as Migrants: From the beginning, when Abram left Ur of the Chaldees for Canaan, the Hebrew people wandered from place to place as migrants until, led by Moses out of Egypt, they settled in the promised land.
  2. God’s Heart for Migrants: Reminding the Jewish people that on account of their own sufferings as migrants in Egypt, God requires them in the Law to love and respect the foreign migrants in their community.
  3. Ruth – a Story of Migration: The Book of Ruth offers a personal story of the hardships and dangers of migration, especially for women on their own.
  4. Ruth – a Story of Integration: Ruth is also the story of a woman who had emigrated with her husband to a strange land, only for him to die, leaving her in a quandary about how to survive alone in a foreign place. Ruth returns to her native land with her mother-in-law, living in dire circumstances until she is rescued by and wed to one of her husband’s relatives. How did she cope with living in a foreign community with changed life circumstances? What personal pressures did she have to negotiate?
  5. A Migrant People: Migration continues to be a theme throughout Jewish history, explored by prophets and historians alike. This Study looks at how their ideas feed into the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels.

‘The refugee, or immigrant, is not just someone we are called to do good to, but someone who –  like the “Samaritan” normally rejected by the Jews – turns out to be one who blesses or even saves us, as much as we save him or her. This year’s study — in reading old stories in new ways — shows that this idea of the outsider as helper/contributor is found in the Old Testament and flowering in the teaching of Jesus.’
                                                      Canon Dr. Ginnie Kennerly, BACI

The official launch of the printed booklets by Archbishop Michael Jackson will be on 24 January  2017 at 12.50pm in Church House, Dublin. Copies will be available at Church House and from Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. Please check, also, with St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, and St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast for availability.

Click here for full PDF file copy of 2017 Lenten Study.


Dr. David Shepherd, Assistant Professor, Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin


Report: Study Series on ‘Reconciliation’ in Christ Church Cathedral Crypt

Once again the Cathedral hosted the Lent Bible Studies provided by the Biblical Association for the Church of Ireland in February and March this year.

Canon Ginnie Kennerley, who edited the series, was the co-ordinator, and the contributors of the five studies, Linda Chambers, Barbara Bergin, Rev Earl Storey, Canon Paul Houston, and Rev Dr William Olhausen each attended on one of the evenings to introduce the study they had put together.

Participants were drawn from a wide range of Christian backgrounds, members not only of the cathedral congregation but of a number of other less formal church communities; and this made for prayerful discussion which was thought-provoking and which expanded every one’s Christian horizons.

The studies, which took into account Archbishop Justin Welby’s guidelines for Reconciliation, were titled ‘Power and Service’, ‘Transcending Boundaries’, ‘Reaching out to the Other’, ‘Taking Down the Walls’ and ‘Do as You would be Done by’.  The group were welcomed with hot drinks and sandwiches each evening and sat together round a large table in the crypt, joining in the discussion in a relaxed manner as they went deeper into the texts and the situations of alienation most in need of hearing “the message of reconciliation” entrusted to the Church.


BACI Spring Lecture – Finalised!

BACI Spring Lecture

Title‘Shifting Identities in a World of Historical Change: An Old Testament Quest’

Guest speaker: Professor Andrew Mayes

Date: Saturday 9 April 2016 — 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

Venue:  St Matthias’ Church, Parish Centre, Church Road, Killiney. 

This promises to be an interesting and thought provoking morning which will have all sorts of implications for how we read Scripture today and for our own self-understanding as Christians.

To book or for further details please contact either William Olhausen ( or Ginnie Kennerley (

Donation: €10 (including aromatic coffee); Concession: €5.


Lenten Series Follow-up Questionnaire

This year’s BACI Lent Course on the topic of ‘Reconciliation’ has been widely taken up around the Church of Ireland, north and south.

So, how did you get on with the BACI Bible Study on RECONCILIATION?

Study groups known to the BACI committee have been sent this Evaluation Sheets to help us plan for next year’s course. If you have not received a sheet, and would like to share your experience of the course, — whether as a group or as an individual — please copy and paste from the below questions, and make whatever comments you wish, emailing your reply to Thank you!

 We’re always aiming to improve, so please let us know . . .

  1. Did the passages chosen and the suggested questions help the group become more aware of the challenge of reconciliation in different areas of personal, social and community life? Did you add questions?

 a) John 13.1-17 & Mark 10.35ff. ‘Power and Service’

b) John 4.5-26. ‘Transcending Boundaries’

c) Acts 16.6-15 & 19-21, 22 – 28. ‘Reaching out to the Other’

d) Ephesians 2.11-22. ‘Taking Down the Walls’

e) Matthew 7.1-12, I John 4.17-21. ‘Do as you would be Done by’

  1. Were the Introductions helpful?
  1. Did you use the Notes?
  1. Did you find the questions challenging enough?
  1. Did the same participants come each time? Who were they?
  1. What areas of reconciliation challenged your group most?
  1. What subject would you suggest for Lent next year?

Very many thanks! We look forward to providing you with more Lenten study materials for next year.